Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David Brown put a little distance between the county organization and congressional candidate Stephanie Schmid over a mailer that falsely states that Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) voted to end protections of pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act.
“I am not familiar with the mailer, but my hope is that everything in all of our Democratic candidates’ mailers are 100% accurate,” Brown told the New Jersey Globe.
Schmid has repeatedly cited a May 2017 House vote, claiming that Smith voted yes when official records show that he voted against the measure.
When asked by a New Jersey Globe reporter to address what is irrefutably incorrect information, Schmid declined to speak.
Reached later by the New Jersey Globe on the same topic, Schmid said that all inquiries need to originate through her press office and then hung up the phone.
“I also strongly believe all our candidates should engage with the press regularly and openly,” said Brown, who urged Schmid to field media questions about her campaign directly.
Schmid, a Yale-educated attorney, is making her first bid for public office after working for the U.S. Department of State and for a New York law firm.
“I think everyone can understand when a candidate is running for the first time and makes a rookie mistake,” said Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute of New Jersey Politics at Rider University. “But what’s absolutely essential whether you’ve been in the game for 30 seconds or 30 years is the commitment and interest in making it right.”
Reached later, Schmid did speak to the Globe and strongly defended her media relations strategy.
“I don’t talk to journalists without an appointment. I would have spoken to you today if you made an appointment,” she said. “We have policies and protocols. It’s my campaign and I’m running it the way I want to.”
Still, the Democratic congressional contender doubled down on the content of her attack on Smith and promised a more detailed statement later.
“I stand by the mailer,” said Schmid. “Everything is correct, except for the citation at the bottom.”